Throughout our careers we freelancers experience alternating seasons of high and low activity. While we may still have projects during seasons of low activity, they may not be as demanding or as regular. During high-activity months, however, we have several leads and potential clients sending queries […] Read more »
As a freelancer, I get the chance to work with startup companies that are still too new or too small to have a lot of in-house staff. Because of this, I’ve become familiar with the common characteristics that many startups share. As I come to expect […] Read more »
Two years ago I was starting to get conscious about my online presence, so I Googled my name. One of the first things I saw were links to my earliest projects, which were how-to e-books about dating and seduction. I remember using a pseudonym at that […] Read more »
Being a web worker can mean learning to handle many facets of running a small business, including dealing with difficult clients, which can often be one of the biggest frustrations that come with the territory.
But how do you know if your clients are abusing you? Here are a few telltale signs and tips for how to fix and avoid these situations.
The work keeps creeping in. You start with one description of what is to be done and end up doing something entirely different or something that’s way more involved than the original task.
How to Fix/Avoid It: Have a contract and a clear and agreed-upon scope and schedule for each and every phase or project. Outline exactly what is to be done and when it’s due.
The client expects immediate responses or complete availability. Occasionally, you’ll come across clients who want 100% of your undivided attention. They expect emails to be responded to within an hour and work to be completed at an unrealistic pace.
How to Fix/Avoid It: Set expectations from the start. Explain when you’re available to clients, how quickly you tend to reply to communications, and how you prefer to communicate. You may also wish to explain how you work. For example, do you generally devote a set amount of time to each project or client per day? If so, explain this to clients on the front side so that they know what to expect. Read more »
How do you sell yourself and your services online, when you work in two or more fields? Won’t a potential client’s first impression be that you lack focus, and perhaps don’t excel at any of the things you do? Freelancers don’t always have the luxury of […] Read more »
It’s a strange thing, but in times like these, when prospective clients have fewer dollars to spend and when there’s more competition in the marketplace due to higher unemployment rates, instinctive responses have a tendency to take over our business decisions.
It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of instinctive “fight or flight” response, so how do we break that cycle? Read more »
In a previous post, I explored the differences between freelancers who monetize just one professional skill and those who sell multiple skills. If you’re the latter kind, and market yourself as a copywriter/designer/consultant/etc., then you’ve probably faced this dilemma: Should you sell all your services through one storefront or have several? Is just one blog or web site enough, or should you create separate sites for each service you offer? Read more »
Some years ago a web designer asked me if I thought it was right for him to design a site for a religious group whose values he completely disagreed with. “The site is actively promoting their beliefs,” he said, “and I’m not sure I want to be a part of that.”
I was reminded of his dilemma last week, when a potential client contacted me to ask if I could write sales copy for his multilevel marketing scheme — at twice my usual fee. After doing a bit of research on the company, however, it became apparent that this person was running a scam.
As freelancers, we sometimes get requests that we find shady. These can range from the above examples to creating promotional materials for companies whose ethics we don’t completely agree with. How do we deal with these requests? Read more »
“Are you going to buy this or what?” the clerk at the hardware store asked me yesterday, nodding at the new garden shovel I was holding in my hand. The frankness of the question put me off at first, but the urgency in his voice prompted […] Read more »
When we took our first steps in this world, our feet were unsure and our legs were struggling. The same could be said for freelancers who are venturing onto the web working path for the first time. There are bound to be mistakes and struggles on […] Read more »
Lowering expenses is in vogue these days, with companies cutting costs in every way they can. Although freelancers work on a smaller scale, that doesn’t mean that we’re immune to these pressures. In fact, we probably feel the effect of the economy on a more personal […] Read more »
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci In art and music, the term “minimalist” describes work that is stripped down to its fundamental elements. Everything is simplified. This approach has its benefits on the web, where there are thousands of freelancers making themselves heard. […] Read more »
How can we make our clients better informed so that they don’t ask us the same questions repeatedly? I believe that the following 5 documents can help Read more »
“How do you find jobs?” This is one of the most common questions I hear after I tell someone that I’m an online freelancer. My answer to this question is varied. Most of the time, new clients find my website or hear about me through referrals. […] Read more »
Freelancers take pride in their independence. But no matter how independent you think you are, you’ll need to work with a team and handle your difficult clients well. Sometimes, the work can be so overwhelming that you think you’re left with no choice except to find […] Read more »
Online workers usually don’t receive an automatic raise from clients. But this doesn’t mean that we aren’t entitled to one from time to time. Raising your rates is one of the many ways you can go a step further on your personal career ladder. But with people throwing around the words “downturn” and “layoffs”, is this really possible? I believe it is, and here are seven simple things we can do to make it happen. Read more »
First time freelancers make the mistake of accepting every single job that comes their way. I made this mistake, and there’s a good chance that you did too. Who can blame us? Freelance income isn’t stable, especially when you’re starting out. We tend to think that […] Read more »
Can the internet public know more about you than you would like? According to an article at New Scientist, there’s a company that uses software to analyze blogs and forum posts to find out a blogger’s age, gender, and interests. Web workers who are avid users […] Read more »
Sometimes, the cause of freelancing mistakes lies in forgetting to ask the right questions. I know this because it has often happened to me, whether I’m applying as a contractor for a project or I’m the one hiring others to work with me. Asking these questions, […] Read more »
Before the recent boxing match between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao, De La Hoya’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., decided not to train De La Hoya for the fight. He had this to say: Oscar doesn’t need me to beat Pacquiao. He really doesn’t. For […] Read more »
When I was a freshman art student, there came a day when I realized that my favorite paint colors were running out. The problem was that I didn’t have the money to replace them. No ultramarine blue, cadmium yellows, or alizarin crimson. I was stuck with […] Read more »
During my creative writing classes in college, many of my classmates dreaded the workshops. These workshops required us to send each other a copy of our work, then, the following week, we’d tear each other apart. We used to spend hours spotting mixed metaphors, grammatical errors, […] Read more »
One of the things I love about online freelancing is the flexibility. I can choose the projects I want to work on and have a customized schedule. It’s this kind of freedom that entice many traditional employees to become freelancers, or at least to work from […] Read more »
Entrepreneur, author and Found|READ contributor, “Tim Ferriss”:http://4hourworkweek.com/, is a force of nature and an amateur marketing genius. With virtually no professional assistance, the first-time author has managed to get his novel self-help/ management book, “The 4-Hour Workweek”:http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ onto _both_ The New York Times and Wall Street […] Read more »